Priestly Blessing

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The Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chanokh Heynekh HaKohen of Aleksander (1798-1870) is commemorated on the 18th of Adar (II). The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

Priestly Blessing

On the final Rosh Hashanah in the life of our master, our teacher, the Rav Chanoch Henoch HaKohen of Aleksander, (may his merits shield us), I heard that the Hasidim just couldn’t say goodbye; they would not depart his holy presence.

Finally, he requested that all the Hasidim go outside and stand in the courtyard. And the holy Henoch, (may his merits shield us), opened his window and blessed them all with the Priestly Blessing.

Later, while they were traveling from this gathering, one Hasid with a young son decided to circle back, for his son had fallen ill on the road and, the Hasid wanted the holy Rav’s mentioning of his son’s name in a request for Refuah Shlema.

The holy Rabbi asked him:

“Why didn’t your son take your leave of me before you went on the road?”

The Hasid asked:

“Wasn’t it the case that we all refused to take our leave from you?”

The holy Henoch, (may his merits shield us), replied:

“That’s true, but then, they were all in the courtyard at the time of the Priestly Blessing. But the youngster was not there at the time of the blessing.”

And then he understood the power in the blessings’ holiness.

(Words of the Holy Serafim, section 3, 228)

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